The 2016 New York 22nd Congressional District race has officially begun with the announcement November 17, 2015, by Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney that she will run for the Republican nomination [See video of the full speech]. Assemblywoman Tenney is the first official candidate in this 2016 race, but is expected to face incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna and a Democrat challenger.
Assemblywoman Tenney has held her seat in the New York State Assembly, representing the 101st District, for 3 terms – winning primary challenges and general election in each race. In 2014 Tenney ran in the Republican primary against incumbent Rep. Hanna, losing by 2,119 votes after entering the race late with only 3 months to run.
Assemblywoman Tenney is considered a Conservative Republican, as opposed to Rep. Richard Hanna. Rep. Hanna has morphed from a fiscal conservative in 2010, to a self-described moderate, to the 3rd most liberal Republican in Congress after he lost the support of the NY Conservative Party and the Tea Party in 2012. Most recently Rep. Hanna, known for his attacks on the Republican Party and support of Democrats and many of their issues, became the focal point of national attention as he attacked the Benghazi Commission ahead of 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s appearance.
At the 8:30 AM announcement, Claudia Tenney discussed the need for a consistent voice representing the public in Congress, addressing some of the issues we covered from October 17, 2015
“As is indicated by Congress.gov, Rep. Hanna was the last member to support the Benghazi Commission. As Brietbart.com noted, he also only did so after he gained Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney as an opponent in the 2014 congressional race.”
Following the announcement in front of the Broome County Courthouse at 92 Court Street Binghamton, NY, Assemblywoman Tenney appeared live on WNBF News Radio in an interview with Bob Jospeh. In that interview she discussed the shortcomings of Rep. Richard Hanna’s campaign promises and his votes in Congress,
“Richard Hanna ran as a Tea Party Republican in 2010, the Tea Party ushered him in the big wave. He promised the people he would keep taxes low, vote against Government spending and he was an independent and true conservative in Congress. He’s gone in the other direction, quite the opposite. Every fiscal rating organization, Freedomworks you name it, he scores an F.”
Two of the top aides from the office of Rep. Richard Hanna attended the announcement. Initially they declined to identify themselves as they recorded the entire speech, and declined comment once they were recognized. It is unclear if the aides were attending the speech as supporters of Tenney or gathering information for Rep. Hanna. Thus far Rep. Richard Hanna has made no comment on the challenge by Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, nor has he announced if he will run for re-election.
Another factor that remains unknown at this time is who will be the Democrat challenger. In 2014, the Democrat Party abandoned the NY-22 and offered no challenger. Some have felt this was due to the “moderate” stance of Rep. Hanna and his support of Democrat issues and attempts to recruit voters to the Democrat Party . But it is widely believed that Democrats will offer a challenger in 2016. Currently rumors of Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi being selected have circulated since March 2015.
Both Assemblyman Brindisi and Rep. Hanna have advocated for the drone testing site at Griffiss International Airport that has generated 6 jobs, costing taxpayers $6 million to date. Neither elected official has publicly addressed the shortfall in jobs and revenue from the prediction they made in 2013 & 2014 about the drone site.
It is expected that further announcements will come shortly about additional challengers for the 2016 congressional race.
** Michael “Vass” Vasquez was a candidate in the 2014 congressional election, challenging Rep. Richard Hanna, before withdrawing and supporting Claudia Tenney. Mr. Vasquez has announced he will make a statement about the 2016 race on November 18, 2015 on WNBF News Radio. **